Category Archives: Author Profiles

Enough by Helen Roseveare

The following extract is taken from Enough by Helen Roseveare and will be read today at her funeral by Christian Focus author Irene Howat.

9781845507510

What more can we say? Throughout the Bible, God draws the eyes of Christians forward to that wonderful time when we shall see him face-to-face, no longer darkly as in a mirror. Scripture only tells us a limited amount of the wonders of that time. So as we sing of it, we are seeking to express what we believe it will be like, to the best of our human comprehension.

There is a higher throne

Than all this world has known,

Where faithful ones from ev’ry tongue

Will one day come.

Before the Son we’ll stand,

made faultless through the Lamb;

Believing hearts find promised grace;

Salvation comes.

Hear heaven’s voices sing;

Their thund’rous anthem rings

Through em’rald courts and sapphire skies;

Their praises rise.

All glory, wisdom, pow’r,

Strength, thanks and honour are

To God our King, who reigns on high

For evermore.

And there we’ll find our home;

Our life before the throne.

We’ll honour him in perfect song

Where we belong.

He’ll wipe each tear-stained eye

As thirst and hunger die.

The Lamb becomes our Shepherd-King;

We’ll reign with him.

Keith and Kristyn Getty

In heaven, we will experience the ultimate fulfilment of all that grace has made possible for us, all that Christ’s death on the cross of Calvary bought for us – forgiveness of our sins, peace of heart, friendship with God, the ‘enough-ness’ in every area of our lives that we have been thinking about.

And it has all been made possible through grace – made possible through Jesus, our beloved Saviour. Before Jesus came to Gethsemane and Calvary, he prayed to his Father, ‘Father, glorify your name’ and the Father replied, ‘I have glorified it, and will glorify it again’ (John 12:28.) Was the Father not referring to the cross, as being the moment in history when he would most clearly reveal to us his glory – when grace would be shown to us in all its fullness?

As I try to conceive of the fullness of grace, my mind moves to Titus 2:11, ‘For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men.’ He is talking of the Lord Jesus himself – he is the grace that brings salvation and has appeared to us all. And Paul goes on, ‘we wait for the blessed hope – the glorious appearing of our great God and Saviour, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness’ (Titus 2:13-14). One day, he will return.

As we experience, by grace, the great things that he has done for us here in our present life, it still remains largely beyond our ability to conceive of the wonders of heaven.

No eye has seen,

No ear has heard,

No mind has conceived

What God has prepared for those who love him (1 Cor. 2:9).

He promises that, on that day, there will be no more tears, no more pain, no more regrets, no more fears, no more mourning, no more death. All the human emotions and frailties that distract us now, all that causes us to feel less than content, everything that makes us other than happy and at peace – they will be no more. All that causes us now to seek to know the enoughness, the all-sufficiency, of his grace – they were part of a world that has now passed away. On that wonderful day, not only will there be no hindrance to true worship of our beloved Lord and Saviour (the negative aspect of the work of grace), but there will be an utter fulfilment of all that his grace has procured for us (the positive aspect). And more, there will be enough time to love him as we should, and to worship and serve him utterly as we long to do.

What a wonderful prospect!

So as we are learning now that God’s grace and love and fellowship are indeed enough in this ‘down here’ life, we are encouraged by all the wonderful promises for the life-to come, the life ‘up-there’. All God’s promises, that we have watched being fulfilled here and now, will be finally completed when we are in his nearer presence.

In his vision, the Apostle John said:

I saw a new heaven and a new earth …

I saw the Holy City …

He will wipe every tear from their eyes.

There will be no more death or mourning

or crying or pain, for the old order of

things has passed away (Rev. 21:1-4).

But with that negative declaration of what there won’t be in heaven, there came (first, actually) the wonderful positive truth of what there will be in heaven.

Now the dwelling of God is with men, and he will live with them. They will be his people and God himself will be with them and be their God (Rev. 21:3).

As we look forward with longing to that day, we can pray with John, ‘Come, Lord Jesus’ (Rev. 22:20).

Now, while we are still on earth, we can truly sing wholeheartedly the first three verses of John Newton’s hymn:

Amazing Grace! How sweet the sound

That saved a wretch like me!

I once was lost, but now am found;

Was blind, but now I see.

‘Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,

And grace my fears relieved;

How precious did that grace appear

The hour I first believed.

Through many dangers, toils and snares,

I have already come;

‘Tis grace that brought me safe thus far,

And grace will lead me home.

But then, when we arrive in glory, we will truly experience that of which we sing in verse 4, the glorious freedom of worship – the enough-ness of time!

When we’ve been there ten thousand years,

Bright shining as the sun,

We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise

Than when we first begun.

John Newton (1725-1807)

Other books by Helen Roseveare:

1845501896-C-DUOTONE-F29781845500580 184550190X-C-DUOTONE-F2 9781845502942 9781845503529 97818455029599781845503512

Leave a Comment

Filed under Author Profiles, Christian Focus, Mission Partners, Uncategorized

Helen Roseveare (1925-2016) A Tribute

Christian Focus Publications would like to extend its sincerest condolences to the family and friends of our dear Helen Roseveare, who passed away this morning. She dedicated her life to serving others even in the deep trials of life. She pioneered vital medical work in the rainforests of what is now the Democratic Republic of Congo and was an internationally respected speaker with WEC ministries. We are thankful at Christian Focus for Helen’s ministry through the books we have been blessed to publish. She spent her life in service for the Lord and today she is with Him, worshipping Him, in heaven.

Helen_Roseveare

Catherine Mackenzie, Children’s Editor at Christian Focus, shares the impact Helen Roseveare had on her life.

This morning a good friend and encourager Helen Roseveare passed away, she had been longing to go home to be with Christ. Now this has happened we who remain look back at her life and rejoice in the work that the Lord gave her and in the witness she gave to his worthiness.

It was eleven years ago that I met Helen Roseveare for the first time. She had not long celebrated her eightieth birthday. I’d read her books and knew her story and somehow or other I had been invited to stay with her in Belfast. It was great to actually meet one of my heroines. She was not only encouraging, she was challenging. It was an environment – all be it just for a weekend – where I felt safe to be honest with her and Pat, her friend, about the challenges and struggles of my own little life. Even though she had been through so much herself (if you don’t know what I mean then read her books) my problems didn’t feel too insignificant to share. And the words she gave me before I left on the flight from Belfast to Inverness were straight forward – just telling me to keep on going. And I’m thankful to her and to God that I have through His strength.

After that she came over to my congregation to do a conference. It was there that she gave, as part of her message, four little words that I believe were the backbone to her life and reinforced, for me, the message of her books, the message she gave me before I left Belfast and the message her Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, gives all believers.

“Jesus is Worth it”.

Towards the end of that conference I had the pleasure of taking her and Pat for a tour of the Black Isle – a Scottish peninsula near Inverness. What took place at lunch that day is one of several distinct ‘Helen and Pat’ memories that will stay with me for the rest of my life. If you’ve not met either of them – let me describe these two women of God… in two words (believe me I could pick another 100 words to describe them and I wouldn’t do them justice.)

Smart. They both graduated in medicine at a time when to be a female graduate in any discipline like this was rare.

Cosmopolitan. Both travelled extensively – before the easy days of online booking and satnav.

But if you had been the couple sitting beside us in the restaurant that day you wouldn’t have looked twice. You would have presumed ‘they’re just two little old ladies’. But that’s one point where the church and the world differs – God’s kingdom never puts the word ‘just’ before any category of believer – particularly little old ladies.

Our neighbouring diners were given a visual and audible lesson in this when, after lunch, Pat and Helen’s conversation went as follows:

“I don’t think we’ll ever be able to get back to Afghanistan but it is a beautiful country, and the Lord is at work there…” – or words to that effect.

As my chin dropped I could see the looks on the people at the table beside us as they turned and stared. Two women they had just spent the last hour ignoring were talking about a trip they had made to what was now one of the most notoriously violent countries in the world.

Helen and Pat started reminiscing about people who had lived and worked in that region and about the brief time they had spent in a nation that was now in the thick of a conflict that threw up words like Taliban and Terrorist.

I drove them back to my parent’s house and before too long they were on their way back to Belfast discussing, no doubt, their plans for the development of the girl’s clubs they were involved in and the future fundraising for their local church.

So don’t make assumptions about little old ladies… especially when you hear the word church and missionary in the same sentence … they may very well have been where we will never go, have done what we wouldn’t dream of, and have given up what we just aren’t willing to.

Helen Roseveare was a little old lady, during the time I knew her, but really age didn’t come into it. She was a woman after God’s own heart and Jesus was the one that her heart longed after. She’s with him this morning – still part of the church as she worships more fully in heaven. We who remain, continue as she did once to long for home.

Leave a Comment

Filed under Author Profiles, Christian Focus, Mission Partners, News

Steven J. Lawson on John Knox

Reformation Day Recap

9781781915394

John Knox is one of the most colourful figures in church history and his impact is still felt around the world. The real story of Knox surpasses the best fiction novels. Five hundred years after his death, Steven Lawson seeks in this book to ignite our faith for Jesus through Knox’s story. If you think of Knox as the dull Presbyterian, prepare to think again. Let this seminal figure in the history of the Scottish Reformation inspire you to stand firm in your faith and let God impact your spiritual life.

John Knox by Steven J. Lawson Reviewed:

“…Take a deep breath as you turn the first page; this story may leave you breathless; but you will almost certainly feel spiritually fitter by the end!”

Sinclair B. Ferguson, Associate Preacher, St Peter’s Free Church, Dundee, Scotland

“Steven Lawson, himself a bold preacher, has given us a biography of Knox that inspires similar courage. In this day of jellyfish, may God use this book to raise up more Christians like Knox!”

Joel R. Beeke, President, Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary, Grand Rapids, Michigan

“… Lawson has captured the essence and main contours of Knox’s vital ministry-no easy task. Read and ponder, and then pray that God would raise up again such thunderers of the Bible as Knox-yes, in Scotland, and to the ends of the earth.”

Michael A. G. Haykin, Professor of Church History and Biblical Spirituality, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky

About the Author:

Steven J. Lawson is president of OnePassion Ministries, a ministry designed to bring about biblical reformation in the church today, as well as the Professor of Preaching in the masters and doctoral programs at The Master’s Seminary, Sun Valley, California and Teaching Fellow for Ligonier Ministries. We look forward to his latest title in early 2017 titled, The Cost: What it takes to follow Jesus. Here is a sneak preview of the cover, keep an eye out for more information:

9781781919552

Where to Buy:
John Knox: Fearless Faith is available at any good Christian bookstore. If you don’t have a Christian bookstore near you, you may want to consider purchasing a copy from one of the online book retailers listed below:

Buy Now:

 

Leave a Comment

Filed under Author Profiles, Christian Focus, Reformation Day, Uncategorized

Christian Focus Author Presented Golden Scroll Award

Pat Ennis 1God is my Strength 

Christian Focus Publications congratulates Patricia Ennis, recipient of a Golden Scroll Merit Award for Nonfiction from AWSA (Advanced Writers and Speakers Association) for her book God Is My Strength: Fifty Biblical Responses to Issues Facing Women Today.

As a college and seminary professor for many years, Ennis has compiled a list of 50 questions that women frequently pose.  It is her passion, she tells the reader, to share responses “that would challenge you to become theologically sound (Titus 2:1-5) as well as a ‘doer of the word’ (James 1:22) in the critical areas of your life: Your God, Yourself, Your Relationships, Your Home, Your World.”

Catherine Mackenzie, editor for Christian Focus, says,

“Pat Ennis is a great addition to our writing team. She has a wealth of experience that consists not only of knowledge but of practical skills and theological expertise. These are gifts you just can’t buy – you can only gain them through life. And here we have someone who knows them, lives them and can write about them!  You often hear the phrase that to prove your knowledge on a subject you have to be able to teach it. Pat has done that, not only in the classroom at Southwestern Seminary, but between the pages of this excellent book: God Is My Strength. It’s a delight to see Pat’s passion for the home, God’s Word and women believers being given the recognition it deserves through AWSA.”

Leave a Comment

Filed under Author Profiles, Christian Focus

Author Profile – Trisha Wilkerson

Trisha Wilkerson & Family

Trisha Wilkerson & Family

Trisha Wilkerson is a blogger for The Resurgence, a volunteer biblical counselor, homeschooler, and women’s leader at Mars Hill Church. She is the wife of Pastor Mike Wilkerson who oversees Redemption Groups at Mars Hill. Trisha and Mike are the parents of four young children and make their home in Seattle, Washington.

Places to find Trisha online:

Books by Trisha Wilkerson:
Everyday Worship Our Work Heart and Jesus by Trisha Wilkerson

Leave a Comment

Filed under Author Profiles

Author Profile – Richard P. Belcher, Jr.

Richard P. Belcher, Jr.Dr. Richard P. Belcher, Jr., author of Genesis: The Beginning of God’s Plan of Salvation (Focus on the Bible) teaches Old Testament at Reformed Theological Seminary. He is an ordained minister in the PCA and pastored an urban nondenominational church in Rochester, NY for ten years before pursuing the Ph. D. This pastoral experience in an unusual and challenging setting gives him great insight into the practical, modern issues that will be faced by future pastors studying with him at RTS. He graduated from Covenant College and received his M. Div from Covenant Seminary. He also received an S.T.M. from Concordia Theological Seminary, and his Ph. D. is from Westminster Theological Seminary. He has served as stated supply for numerous churches in the area since coming to RTS Charlotte in 1995. Dr. Belcher was recently appointed as academic dean for RTS/Charlotte.

Books by Richard P. Belcher, Jr.:
Genesis: The Beginning of God's Plan of Salvation (Focus on the Bible) by Richard P. Belcher, Jr.Messiah & the Psalms: Preaching Christ from all the Psalms by Richard P. Belcher, Jr.

 

*Dr. Belcher’s bio was adapted from his faculty page at www.rts.edu.

Leave a Comment

Filed under Author Profiles

Author Profile – Thabiti Anyabwile

Thabiti Anyabwile

Thabiti Anyabwile is Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church of Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands. He is the happy husband of Kristie and the adoring father of two daughters, Afiya and Eden, and son, Titus. He began serving as elder/senior pastor in August 2006. He served previously as an elder/assistant pastor at Capitol Hill Baptist Church (Washington, DC) and as an elder at Church on the Rock (Raleigh, NC). Thabiti is a council member of The Gospel Coalition. He holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in psychology from North Carolina State University. A former high school basketball coach and bookstore owner, he enjoys preaching, reading, and sports.

Thabiti is active in social media. You can follow him on his Pure Church blog and on Twitter (@ThabitiAnyabwil).

(Biographical profile adapted from www.fbc.org.ky/our_people/staff)

Books by Thabiti Anyabwile:
The Life of God in the Soul of the Church by Thabiti Anyabwile

Leave a Comment

Filed under Author Profiles

Author Profile – Michael Milton

Michael MiltonMichael Milton is an ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church in America. He is the Chancellor/CEO Elect of Reformed Theological Seminary where he also holds the James M. Baird Jr. Chair of Pastoral Theology. Prior to that appointment on September 2, 2010, he served the seminary as the President at Reformed Theological Seminary, Charlotte, North Carolina.

A seminary leader, preacher, pastor, Army Reserve chaplain, singer-songwriter and author, he refers to himself as “a blasphemer and shameful prodigal saved by grace and called to preach the unsearchable riches I once blasphemed. I have but one identity and that is it.”

Dr. and Mrs. Milton live with their son in the Charlotte area.

Michael blogs at MichaelMilton.org, where he shares random thoughts on theology, life, and more.

(Biographical profile adapted from  MichaelMilton.org/about)

Books by Michael Milton:

What God Starts God Completes by Michael Milton

Leave a Comment

Filed under Author Profiles

Author Profile – Ian J. Shaw

Ian J. ShawIan J. Shaw is currently the Director of Langham Scholarship programme in the UK. He previously served as Lecturer in Church History at International Christian College, Glasgow. Prior to this, he was a pastor of an Independent Evangelical Church in an area of urban deprivation in Manchester. He completed a Ph.D in Church History at Manchester University. He has written a number of books and articles on the history of Evangelicalism.

Books by Ian J. Shaw:

Churches, Revolutions And Empires by Ian J Shaw

Leave a Comment

Filed under Author Profiles

Author Interview – Melissa B. Kruger

Melissa B. KrugerMelissa B. Kruger is author of The Envy of Eve: Finding Contentment in a Covetous World (Christian Focus, 2012). We’re excited to welcome her to the Christian Focus Booknotes blog for this brief interview.

Q: Melissa, welcome to the Christian Focus Booknotes blog. Please tell our readers about yourself.

A: I grew up in a wonderful family in North Carolina. I was blessed to grow up in church and was familiar with Christian traditions and the Bible. However, it was during my freshman year of high school that I came to truly understand the gospel and my need for Christ through the ministry of FCA. From that point on, I was always involved in Christian ministries, as well as encouraged to grow personally through daily time in God’s word and prayer. During my years in college at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, I met my husband, Michael Kruger. He is currently a professor of New Testament, as well as Academic Dean, at Reformed Theological Seminary in Charlotte, NC. We also both work part time at Uptown Church. While we both love our jobs and the opportunity to serve in the church, our favorite moments are spent raising our three children, Emma (11), John (8) and Kate (5).

Q: How’d you get started in writing?

A: Truthfully, I’ve never thought of myself as a “writer.” In fact, my undergraduate degree at UNC-Chapel Hill was in mathematics. However, as I look back, I realize that two things led to my interest in writing. First, my mother instilled in me a love for reading. All throughout my childhood, I would read everything I could get into my hands. Even now, I always have something to read – I feel a bit lost if I don’t have a book with me. Second, for the past twenty-five years I have devoted myself to regular journaling. Writing out my daily concerns, requests, and prayers helps me to focus in the midst of a busy life. This naturally led to writing on scriptural themes and eventually I began to write Bible studies for women.

Q: What’s the story behind your recent book The Envy of Eve: Finding Contentment in a Covetous World?

A: A number of years ago, while doing a study on the book of Joshua, I noticed the pattern of “see, covet, take and hide” in Achan’s story. As I began to explore this pattern in Scripture, I realized that it goes all the way back to the original sin of Eve in the garden. It became clear that the sin of “coveting” was no minor problem, but one that was at the core of our rebellion against God. But, this issue of coveting was not just an academic one—it was one I faced in my own life as I wrestled with unmet expectations, difficulties and trials. The breakthrough came when I began to realize that God’s commands for thanksgiving and joy were rooted in the Lord’s sovereignty and goodness, not the specific circumstances of my life. My problem was a failure to believe something, not a failure to possess something. I found that coveting was most often a right desire for a good thing that had soured in the waiting process. This awareness drove me deep into God’s word in search of Biblical ways to combat covetous tendencies. Five years after that initial study on the book of Joshua, The Envy of Eve was complete.

Q: What do you hope readers will take away from your book?

A: The central idea that I hope my readers will take away from The Envy of Eve is that discontentment is not a circumstantial problem, but a heart problem. Our lack of joy, impatience, discontentment, or irritability have much more to do with a failure to believe something about the Lord than with what is actually happening on a particular day. Rather than living life always wondering, “Why isn’t God giving me what I desire?”, my hope is that we would start asking, “What does God desire of me as I walk through the circumstances He has providentially planned for me today?” Truthfully, it changes everything to believe that love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control are available for each day as we abide in Jesus and walk by His Spirit.

Q: Is The Envy of Eve for women only or will men find something of value in your book as well?

A: When we consider that the command against coveting is found within the 10 Commandments, we realize that it is clearly an equal opportunity sin struggle for both men and women! In fact, I think it is one of the most important commandments because it speaks to what is happening inside our hearts, not just our external actions. If anyone thought they had fulfilled the law by their outward actions, this command digs deep into the soul and exposes one’s need for the gospel in a particular way. While the examples I use are often directed towards women, the Biblical stories that expose prevalence of this sin pattern are beneficial for both men and women to consider. God’s truths are relevant for everyone, even if the particular desires they battle against are different. We can all benefit from considering carefully what we desire and the effects that might have upon ourselves, the church, and the world around us.

Where to Buy:
The Envy of Eve: Finding Contentment in a Covetous World is available at any good Christian bookstore. If you don’t have a Christian bookstore near you, you may want to consider purchasing a copy from one of the online book retailers listed below:

The Envy of Eve: Finding Contentment in a Covetous World by Melissa B. Kruger Buy Now:

1 Comment

Filed under Author Profiles, Interview